Today, legislation (SB1030) to begin implementing the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future—the Kirwan Commission plan to address underfunding in Maryland schools—officially passed the General Assembly when the Senate concurred with the House version of the bill. The bill increases education funding by $1.1 billion over the next three years to raise teacher pay and implement programs to help low-income and special education students.
The Senate passed the final bill 45-0 after the House passed it 124-20 yesterday evening. The bipartisan legislation now goes to Gov. Hogan’s desk.
The bill passes a few weeks after more than 8,500 educators, parents, students, and public education advocates marched to the Maryland State House for increased school funding. The March for Our Schools was the largest rally in Annapolis in nearly a decade.
MSEA President and Baltimore County elementary school teacher Cheryl Bost released the following statement:
“The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future will support teachers with better pay, create more career pathways for our students, and bring high-quality education to every school in every zip code. Educators are eager to fully implement the Blueprint, and know that the General Assembly took the boldest action possible given current budget limitations.
“Teachers and other educators will see their largest raise since the 2008 recession. Our schools will hire more special educators and paraprofessionals to help struggling learners and students with disabilities. More than 200 high-poverty schools will become ‘community schools’ where wrap-around services such as counseling and healthcare will break down economic barriers to learning. This bipartisan legislation is a bold first step toward Maryland’s future success.
“Given the bipartisan support for both the budget and the legislation, Marylanders expect Gov. Hogan to sign the bill and approve the $255 million in funding that the Blueprint invests in our schools in FY20. Educators credit legislative leaders and the governor for finding common ground on the creation of an independent Inspector General to prevent fraud, waste, and abuse of public education funds.
“We now need to develop and pass a funding formula that gives all schools in every neighborhood the resources our students deserve. Educators will continue to be the leading advocates to make sure that happens in the next year.”